Baby-led weaning: Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you haven’t. If you’re not familiar, it’s a method of weaning (or feeding) your baby that allows them to eat whole foods—like chunks of hamburger off your plate or bites of apple straight from the source—rather than being spoonfed purees. And it’s definitely gaining popularity across the country. But should you try it as you make the transition from milk to solids? Here are some things that might happen if you do.
Here's What Might Happen If You Try Baby-Led Weaning
You Might Have More Meals Together As A Family
We all know those parents who haven’t had time to sit down and eat a real meal in 15 years. A big part of baby-led weaning is eating meals together so your baby can model his or her behavior after you. Not having to play “airplane” with your child’s mushy peas will give you a moment to eat something other than table scraps and even have a little adult conversation.
Your Child Might Never Use A Fork
It’s so cool to see a nine-month-old baby pick up and gnaw on a piece of steak, but when a five-year-old does it, it’s rude. If you aren’t introducing utensils to your children from an early age, it could get more difficult when they’re older. Have fun explaining to your in-laws why your eight-year-old eats like a caveman.
You Might Constantly Be Afraid Of Choking
All the BLW experts say it’s OK to give your six-month-old an entire banana, but it doesn’t make it any easier to watch. Even if you stay away from known choking hazards (grapes, hot dogs, popcorn and peanut butter), it can be incredibly nerve-racking to let their tiny toothless mouths devour a giant chunk of avocado. Pop a Xanax and hang in there.
Your Child Might Need More Baths
Parents expect feeding a baby to be messy, but letting them feed themselves takes it to a whole other level. No surface in your house will be safe from your tiny one’s mess. And if you go out to eat, make sure you tip your server extra for the pile of sweet potatoes smashed into the carpet.
Your Baby Might Not Actually Eat Any Food
You’re not supposed to play with your food, but baby-led weaning encourages your little guy to do exactly that. For a really long time. Your baby is in charge, so it could be weeks before she stops playing and starts swallowing. Keep up the breastmilk/formula and trust she’ll be filling her belly with cheese sticks before you know it.
Your Child Might Be More Adventurous
If your kid is exposed to different tastes, texture, colors and smells from the beginning, there’s a good chance he’ll be less picky in the future. Every toddler goes through an “I only want ice cream for breakfast” phase but a baby-led munchkin might also eat sushi and capers.
RELATED: 8 Genius Tricks to Help Your Picky Eater Be More Adventurous
You’ll Definitely Save Time Cooking
Baby-led weaning slowly integrates your little one into family meals, which means before his first birthday he’ll be enjoying tilapia with lemon-butter sauce right alongside the rest of you. So instead of spending your weekend blending carrots into an ice cube tray, you can do important stuff, like catch up on Westworld.